Today, Governor Tina Kotek announced that the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) will be allocating $688.9 million to Oregon to help improve access to affordable, high-speed, reliable internet in unserved and underserved communities across Oregon.
The funding allocation will be used to develop and deploy the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program from President Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure law. The Biden Administration’s announcement can be found here.
“Access to quality internet in 2023 is critical to a community’s local economy,” Governor Kotek said. “This substantial investment in Oregon’s broadband infrastructure will help to remedy the digital divide in rural, unserved, and underserved communities across the state, ensuring that Oregonians are able to access telehealth, business opportunities, education, and so much more.
“I want to thank the Biden Administration, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, and Congress for this investment. I also want to give a special thanks to Secretary Gina Raimondo, Senator Ron Wyden, and Oregon’s Broadband Office for their efforts to ensure that Oregon gets their fair share of the resources through advocating for maps that accurately depict our state’s broadband needs.”
“High-speed Internet is essential to our daily lives, but too many communities across our state lack access to reliable, affordable, high speed broadband speeds. We’re changing that,” said Sophorn Cheang, Director, Business Oregon. “I’m grateful to the Biden-Harris Administration for this historic nearly $690 million investment for Oregon, that will enable our State to increase access to quality, affordable, high speed internet for our unserved and underserved communities.”
The Broadband Office is currently in the planning and development phase of their BEAD and Digital Equity (DE) programming.
Business Oregon’s Broadband Office is currently seeking community input as the agency readies a five-year action plan and initial proposal to map out how to use this funding. Input via the surveys and meetings will be crucial to inform the plan and gather information about specific barriers, needs, and opportunities related to high-speed internet access. For more information on how to participate, click here.
Source: Gov Kotek Office